The Teahouse History

I am reassembling a historic Japanese garden/teahouse pavilion from the 1904 St Louis World's Fair which was taken apart and brought to my property here in Bolinas from Sausalito. Originally this structure was shipped from Japan to St Louis and was assembled by Japanese craftsmen who also were sent from Japan to assemble it for the fair. Care has been taken to restore it faithfully to its original Japanese design. It was a fully mortice and tenon building with hand adzed trees used as beams that were dovetailed into other beams in joinery construction. Also care has been taken to use as much of the original wood as possible. The timbers that have been replaced because of rot have been replaced with recycled quality wood from old growth redwood cut by a small mill in Marshall, Ca from trees already cut down and left in the woods years ago.

After the 1904 fair this teahouse/garden pavilion was purchased and moved by William Crocker by train to his 500 acre hunting estate in Cloverdale, CA. There it was rebuilt (including a rock and concrete moat and moon bridge), described to me by John Curtis who was there when it was later disassembled and moved. It is said this teahouse was used by Crocker’s wife for teas and card games. By the early 1960's it had fallen into neglect and disrepair. The artist Ross Curtis with friends, and his potter wife, Eileen Reynolds Curtis, dismantled and brought the teahouse to Sausalito where they reassembled it on their small farm. (IJ article, Oct 16, 2008, Paul Liberatore). After the death of Ross Curtis several years ago, the property on which it stood was being sold. The teahouse was given to me by his companion and executer, Hilary Bacon, to bring to my property here in Bolinas with a commitment from me that I would dismantle it, move it, reassemble it and preserve it at my own expense. This is a historic 1904 Japanese garden structure from Japan.

The thin rectangular panels of wood under the roof overhang have beautiful cut out open air designs and the wood lattice work under the cornice is all open air. Recently sheets of glass have been added to protect these historic panels.

The Teahouse inauguration was celebrated with a show including the work of the original Sausalito Teahouse Group, October, 2014, and featuring the work of Ross Curtis.

Photos of teahouse here

Press release